Horatio Nelson.

The Letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton, Vol. I. With A Supplement Of Interesting Letters By Distinguished Characters online

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I shall, probably, offend many more than I can oblige. Such is always
the case: like the tickets - those who get them, feel they have a right
to them; and those [who] do not get them, feel offended for ever.

But, I cannot help it: I shall endeavour to do what is right, in every
situation; and some ball may soon close all my accounts with this
world of care and vexation!

But, never mind, my own dear-beloved Emma: if you are true to me,
I care not - and approve of all my actions. However, as you say, I
approve of them, myself; therefore, probably, I am right.

Poor Reverend Mr. Scott is, I fear, in a very bad way. His head has
been turned by too much learning, and the stroke of lightning will
never let him be right again. The Secretary Scott is a treasure; and I
am very well mounted: Hardy is every thing I could wish or desire.

Our days pass so much alike that, having described one, you have
them all. We now breakfast by candlelight; and all retire, at eight
o'clock, to bed.

Naples, I fancy, is in a very bad way, in regard to money. They have
not, or pretend not to have, enough to pay their officers; and, I
verily believe, if Acton was to give up his place, that it would
become a province of France. Only think of Buonaparte's writing to
the Queen, to desire her influence to turn out Acton! She answered,
properly: at least, so says Mr. Elliot, who _knows more of Naples_
than any of us; God help him! - and General Acton has, I believe, more
power than ever.

By Gibbs's letter, I see, he has sent over about my accounts at
Bronte. He can have no interest in being unfriendly to me. Why should
he? I want no great matters from him; and he can want nothing from me,
that it is not my duty to give his Sovereigns: therefore, why should
he be against us! For my part, my conduct will not alter, whether he
is or not.

Our friend, Sir Alexander, is a very great diplomatic character; and,
even an Admiral must not know what he is negotiating about: although
you will scarcely believe, that the Bey of Tunis sent the man at my

You shall judge - _viz_. "The Tunisian Envoy is still here,
negotiating. He is a moderate man; and, apparently, the best disposed
of any I ever did business with." Could even the oldest diplomatic
character be drier? I hate such parade of nonsense! But, I will turn
from such stuff.

You ask me, Do you do right to give Charlotte things? I shall only
say, my dear Emma, whatever you do in that way, I shall always
approve. I only wish, I had more power than I have! But, somehow, my
mind was not sharp enough for prize-money. Lord Keith would have made
twenty thousand pounds, and I have not made six thousand.

Poor Mr. Este, how I pity him! but, what shall I do with him? However,
if he comes, I shall shew him all the kindness in my power.

October 22d.

The vessel is just going off. I have not a scrap of news! Only, be
assured of my most affectionate regard.

Remember me kindly to Charlotte. Shall always love those that are good
to Horatia. I will write her by another opportunity.

Remember me to Mrs. Cadogan.

You may be sure, I do not forget Charles, who has not been well;
Captain Capel is very good to him.

I am, ever, for ever, my dearest Emma, your most faithful and



* * * * *




Lord Nelson's Letters



* * * * *







Letters OF LORD NELSON, &c.


See LETTER X. Page 29.

I sit down, my Dear Mrs. T. by desire of poor Thomson, to write you a
line: not, to assure you of his eternal love and affection for you and
his dear child; but only to say, that he is well, and as happy as he
can be, separated from all which he holds dear in this world. He has
no thoughts separated from your love, and your interest. They are
united with his; one fate, one destiny, he assures me, awaits you
both. What can I say more? Only, to kiss his child for him: and love
him as truly, sincerely, and faithfully, as he does you; which is,
from the bottom of his soul. He desires, that you will more and more
attach yourself to dear Lady Hamilton.


See LETTER XXXVI. Page 135.

My Dearest Beloved * * * *,

To say, that I think of you by day, night, and all day, and all night,
but too faintly express my feelings of love and affection towards you
* * * * * * * * * * unbounded affection. Our dear excellent, good * *
* * * * * is the only one who knows any thing of the matter; and she
has promised me, when you * * * * * * again, to take every possible
care of you, as a proof of her never-failing regard for your own dear
Nelson. Believe me, that I am incapable of wronging you, in thought,
word, or deed. No; not all the wealth of Peru could buy me for one
moment: it is all your's, and reserved wholly for you; and * * *
certainly * * * * * * * * * from the first moment of our happy,
dear, enchanting, blessed meeting. The thoughts of such happiness, my
dearest only beloved, makes the blood fly into my head. The call
of our country, is a duty which you would, deservedly, in the cool
moments of reflection, reprobate, was I to abandon: and I should feel
so disgraced, by seeing you ashamed of me! No longer saying - "This is
the man who has saved his country! This is he who is the first to go
forth to fight our battles, and the last to return!" And, then, all
these honours reflect on you. "Ah!" they will think; "what a man! what
sacrifices has he not made, to secure our homes and property; even the
society and happy union with the finest and most accomplished woman
in the world." As you love, how must you feel! My heart is with you,
cherish it. I shall, my best beloved, return - if it pleases God - a
victor; and it shall be my study to transmit an unsullied name. There
is no desire of wealth, no ambition, that could keep me from all my
soul holds dear. No; it is to save my country, my wife in the eye of
God, and * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * will tell you
that it is all right: and, then, only think of our happy meeting.

Ever, for ever, I am your's, only your's, even beyond this world,


For ever, for ever, your own NELSON.

August 26th, [1803.]








Naples, June 30th, 1798.


I take the opportunity of Captain Hope, to write a few lines to you,
and thank you for your kind letter by Captain Bowen.

The Queen was much pleased, as I translated it for her: and charges me
to thank you; and say, she prays for your honour and safety - victory,
she is sure you will have.

We have still the regicide minister here, _Garrat_: the most impudent,
insolent dog; making the most infamous demands every day; and I see
plainly, the court of Naples must declare war, if they mean to save
their country.

_Her Majesty_ sees, and feels, all you said in your letter to Sir
William, dated off the Faro di Messina, in its true light; so does
General Acton.

But, alas! their First Minister, _Gallo_, is a frivolous, ignorant,
self-conceited coxcomb, that thinks of nothing but his fine
embroidered coat, ring, and snuff-box; and half Naples thinks him half
a Frenchman: and, God knows, if one may judge of what he did in making
the peace for the Emperor, he must either be very ignorant, or not
attached to his masters or the _cause commune._

The Queen and Acton cannot bear him, and consequently [he] cannot
have much power: but, still, a First Minister, although he may be a
minister of smoke, yet he has always something; enough, at least, to
do mischief.

The Jacobins have all been lately declared innocent, after suffering
four years imprisonment; and, I know, they all deserved to be hanged
long ago: and, since Garrat has been here, and through his insolent
letters to Gallo, these pretty gentlemen, that had planned the death
of their Majesties, are to be let out on society again.

In short, I am afraid, all is lost here; and I am grieved to the heart
for our dear, charming Queen, who deserves a better fate!

I write to you, my dear Sir, in confidence, and in a hurry.

I hope you will not quit the Mediterranean, without taking _us_. We
have our leave, and every thing ready, at a day's notice, to go: but
yet, I trust in God, and you, that we shall destroy those monsters,
before we go from hence. Surely, their reign cannot last long!

If you have any opportunity, write to us; pray, do: you do not know
how your letters comfort us.

God bless you, my dear, dear Sir! and believe me, ever, your most
sincerely obliged and attached friend,



Thursday Evening, June 12th, [1799.]

I have been with the Queen this evening. She is very miserable; and
says, that although the people of Naples are for them, in general,
YET things will not be brought to that state of quietness and
subordination, till the fleet of Lord Nelson appears _off Naples_.
She therefore begs, intreats, and conjures you, my dear Lord, if it is
possible, to arrange matters so as to be able to go to Naples.

Sir William is writing for General Acton's _answer_.

For God's sake, consider it, and do! We will go with you, if you will
come and fetch us.

Sir William is ill; I am ill: it will do us good.

God bless you! Ever, ever, your's sincerely,





(_Lord Nelson's Father_)






I am much favoured by your polite letter, and the very friendly regard
with which Sir William Hamilton and yourself always mention my dear
son; who is, certainly, a worthy, good, brave man, parental partiality
_apart_. But, I myself am by no means satisfied with his present
situation; as to its importance, its safety, or its merited rewards.
It [is] his to sow, but others reap the yellow harvests. All things, I
trust, however, will work together for good.

Captain Parker's misfortune, I see, in every point of view, with a
friendly concern. Langford will quickly be upon his legs.

Though the amusements of a dirty sea-port are not the most refined,
good health, and domestic cheerfulness, will be a happy substitute.

I beg the whole party to accept this my remembrance; and assurance of
my regard, respect, and love: and am, Madam, your most humble servant,


Burnham, August 11th, [1801.]



Your polite congratulation upon the entrance of a new year, I return
seven-fold to you, and the whole of the party now under the hospitable
roof of Merton Place. Time is a sacred deposit committed to our trust;
and, hereafter, we must account for the use we have made of it. To
me, a large portion of this treasure has already been granted, even
seventy-nine years. The complaint my dear son has felt is, I know,
very, very painful: and can be removed, only, with much care and
caution; not venturing, without a thick covering, both head and feet,
even to admire your parterres of snow-drops, which now appear in all
their splendour. The white robe which _January_ wears, bespangled with
ice, is handsome to look at; but we must not approach too near _her_.

I shall be very glad to know the Lord of Merton is recovered.

I am, Madam, your most humble servant,


Bath, January 7th, 1802.


From The






Letters OF EARL NELSON, &c.


Hilborough, near Brandon,
Wednesday, March 4th, 1801.

My Dear Lady,

I have sent you, by this day's coach, a hunted hare; which, I hope,
will prove tender and good. It was killed yesterday.

We are very much gratified by your kind and friendly letters: they
are very interesting to us, and they give an additional zest to our
breakfast; indeed, they are the only things give us any comfort, in
our absence. How unfortunate it was, we left town as we did! I had a
letter, yesterday morning, from my great and beloved Brother. He tells
me, he has sent my letter to the new Lord Chancellor; God grant it may
have the desired effect; but, they are all so engaged, that I fear it
much. At any rate, our good Friend has done what he can. He tells
me, he shall be at Yarmouth to-morrow or next day. A near relation
of our's, who has not seen my Lord since his return to England,
has offered to take me in his carriage: so, we set out on Sunday
afternoon; for we parsons can't go till the Sunday duty is over. We
sleep at Norwich, and hope to be at Yarmouth early on Monday.

I have written to my Brother by this post; so that, if he is likely to
have sailed before Monday, he has time to stop us. Yarmouth is sixty
miles from hence.

I have written you all these particulars; because, I know, you like to
know all about us.

Mrs. Nelson does not go with us; so you must be charitable to her, and
give her a letter or two. We shall return by the following Sunday.

I see, by the papers, the King was better on Tuesday.

Mrs. Nelson is going out for a day; when she returns, she will
write. She will thank you to keep the _two_ guineas my Lord left for
Charlotte, till you hear from her; as she has thought of laying it out
in a frock for her.

We both join in united regards to Sir William; and believe me, your
Ladyship's faithful and most obliged and affectionate friend,



Hilborough, March 29th, 1801.

My Dear Lady,

As I have duty to-day, both morning and afternoon, and to preach
_twice_, I have only time to scrawl a few lines to you between the
services. I will write to my deary to-morrow.

I do not much wonder we have no news from the Baltic, considering the
state of the wind; and, unless it changes, it may be some time first.
Pray God it may be good, when it does arrive.

I was rather surprised to hear _Tom Tit_ (that bad bird) had taken his
flight to town: but, he is a prying little animal, and wishes to know
every thing; and, as he is so small and insignificant, his movements
are not always observed. But, for God's sake, take care of him; and
caution our little jewel to be as much upon her guard as she can. I am
terribly afraid, this bird will endeavour to do mischief. He must be
watched with a hawk's eye. I almost wish some hawk, or _Jove's eagle_,
would either devour him or frighten him away.

It is not very likely I should hear from Yarmouth before you, because
our Yarmouth letters generally go to London first; but if I
should, accidentally, your Ladyship shall depend on hearing from me

I am glad my little Horace looks so well; and that you think him so
like his great, his glorious, his immortal Uncle. Why should he not be
like him? Is it so very uncommon for such near relations to have some
similitude? They who say otherwise, only say it out of envy, malice
and hatred, and all uncharitableness; out upon all such miscreants!
say I.

My love to deary, Charlotte, and the hereditary Duke of Bronte.

God bless you, my dear Lady; and believe me, your's faithfully,


Tell me, in your next, whether you have seen that little bird, called
_Tom Tit_.


Hilborough, August 23d, 1801.


I have written two long letters to my jewel, but I still seem to
have more to say. I can't find out whether a certain Viscountess is
expected at Burnham, or no.

I am pleased that you propose bringing Mrs. Nelson to Hilborough. I
hope, Sir William will be able to amuse himself with fishing a little.
The weather is too hot for me to come to London, and I can't leave my
parish at this time.

Tell my Brother, I should have great pleasure in seeing him; and will
go with him to Plymouth, or any where else, if he particularly
desires it. When you have seen Parker and Langford, you can give me a
particular account of the state of their wounds. I feel much for them.
I think it is better the _Cub_ did not speak to Mrs. N. It will save
some trouble.

I wish you could get a comfortable house near London.

You will find Mr. Nayler, of the Herald's Office, a pleasant
young man. I believe, he is my friend, and will readily give every
information in his power.

If _Jove_ gets a higher title, perhaps things may be settled more to
our minds. Now we are already in the patent, as _Barons_; it will be
no difficult matter, in that case, to have our entails advanced to the
highest honour, if my brother wishes.

This I only mention _entre nous_, without having a desire on the
subject. I am perfectly satisfied, that I am in the patent. I don't
mean to say more to my Brother.

I am told, there are two or three very old lives, Prebends of
Canterbury, in the Minister's gift - near six hundred pounds a year,
and good houses.

The Deans of Hereford, Exeter, Litchfield and Coventry, York, and
Winchester, are old men.

Write from Deal, and tell me when you are likely to return to London.

You can't come from thence nearer than London, unless my Brother lands
you on the other side of the river Thames, on the Essex or Suffolk
coasts. If that plan takes place, Mrs. Nelson had better send Sarah
home before you go.

Compliments to Sir William, and all friends. Your's very faithfully,



Sunday Morning, Sept. 6th, [1801.]

My Dear Lady,

To be sure, you did promise to write to me on Thursday last; and I was
very much disappointed at not receiving a letter yesterday, and sent
to the Post Office twice, to be certain there was no mistake: and,
now, this morning, comes your roguish, waggish letter, on a Sunday
morning, (amidst all my meditations for the good of my parishioners)
about love, courtship, marriage, throwing the stocking, going to bed,
&c. &c. &c. - quite shocking to write to a country parson, who can
have no idea of such _things_. It might do well enough for a King's
chaplain; or a church dignitary, who is supposed to have more
_learning_, and more knowledge of _things in general_.

I wish you was here, and you should not laugh at me for nothing. I
would give you as good as you brought, at any time.

I'll have no Emmas, at present. Stay till there comes one or two of
another sort, to keep the line of the Nelsons in the true name and
blood, without being obliged to go to others to assume a name
which scarcely belongs to them; and, then, as many Emmas, Elfridas,
Evelindas, and Evelinas, as you please.

But, I hope to God, the present young Horatio will go on as we all
wish, and transmit a long race to posterity.

I am delighted with Dr. Heath's letter to my Brother, and the
character he gives of him. My only fear is, that we shall spoil him
among us.

I have not yet heard from him, how he felt himself. I should have
liked to have peeped slyly into his room, and seen how he acted on
first receiving the joyful intelligence.

I don't know enough how to thank my Brother, for all his goodness to
me and mine; my heart overflows, whenever I think of it: but I can't
sit down, and write a formal letter of thanks; it would be too absurd
for _me_ to write, or _him_ to read. He well knows me; and I leave it
to your Ladyship, (my best and truest friend) to say every thing to
him, for and from me: it will come best from your lips, and adorned
with your eloquence.

I wish my Brother had done with this business. I hope, a peace will
soon put an end to his toils and dangers. * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Hilborough, September 8th, 1801.


I hope you will have received my long letter of Sunday's date, by this
time. I wonder you should accuse me of remissness, in not writing to
_you_. I told you then, and I repeat it now, that I would always give
you "_as good as you brought_:" and, upon looking back to the last
week's letters, I find I have always answered your's, whenever I had
one; and, generally, by the _same post_.

As I wrote so much on Sunday, and you said - you thought you should
leave Deal on Tuesday or Wednesday, I said - I should write no more
till you got back to London. Nor should I now, was it not to rebut the
charge of remissness and inattention to you.

I am glad Mrs. Nelson is likely to come home soon; but, I hear nothing
about your intentions. I shall write to her to-morrow, and direct my
letter to Piccadilly; where, I hope, it will find her: and, if this
letter travels to Deal, and follows you to London, it is no matter;
it is not worth having, when you get it. Only, I could not bear the
thoughts of the appearance of neglect, without deserving it.

One or two letters I wrote to Mrs. Nelson last week, I gave public
notice, were intended, in a great degree, for the whole party.

Mrs. Bolton is here for a day, to help my solitary life. I find Lady
N. has taken a house in Somerset Street, Portman Square. She, and my
Father, are to spend the winter in London; and, I am informed, he is
to pay half. Whether it is ready-furnished, or not, I can't tell.

Mr. Edwards is this moment gone, and begs his compliments to you all.

Believe me, your's most faithfully,


Compliments to Parker and Langford.


Canterbury, February 9th, 1805.

Dear Lady Hamilton,

I send you a small parcel; which I will thank you to forward to my
Brother, if you think there is a chance of his getting it before he
leaves the Mediterranean. But, if you have reason to expect him home
very soon, you will be kind enough to return it to me again; or, keep
it till I see you.

The ceremony of electing the new Archbishop takes place on Tuesday
morning. I think it more than probable, we shall make choice of the
person his Majesty has recommended to us, in his letter, which the
Chapter received yesterday.

Mrs. Nelson begs her love to you, Charlotte, Mrs. Bolton, &c. &c.

Your's, very faithfully,


I received Mrs. Bolton's parcel safe on Friday.








My Dear Madam,

The prodigies of valour performed by your new Chevalier have, I fear,
obliterated the memory of your ancient Knight. Nevertheless, I
beg your Ladyship will lay me at the feet of the Queen of the Two
Sicilies, and assure her Majesty of my profound respect for her
person, and that my life is devoted to the defence of it: and, for
yourself, accept every kind wish of your Ladyship's truly affectionate
and faithful Knight,


Gibraltar, 18th October 1798.



Ten thousand most grateful thanks are due to your Ladyship, for
restoring the health of our invaluable friend Nelson, on whose life
the fate of the remaining governments in Europe, whose system has
not been deranged by these devils, depends. Pray, do not let your
fascinating Neapolitan dames approach too near him; for he is made of
flesh and blood, and cannot resist their temptations.

Lady St. Vincent will be transported with your attention to her.
I have sent the fan mounts for Lady Nelson and her, by Sir James
Saumarez; who, after seeing the French prizes safe moored in the
Tagus, conveys the Duke d'Hervie. He, poor man! although a Grandee
of Spain, having been driven out of that kingdom by the insolent
intrigues of Truguet.

I have obeyed your Ladyship's commands respecting Tom Bowen, who is
now Captain of L'Aquilon, and gone to Lisbon to take possession of
her; and his brother William, who married a daughter of Sir William
Parker, I have appointed to the Caroline, the finest frigate I have,
and he is employed on the most advantageous service for filling his
pockets. Should your Ladyship have any other protegé, I desire you
will not spare me.

I am very much penetrated with the condescension their Majesties of
the Two Sicilies have graciously shewn to me, through your Ladyship,
and I rely on your doing justice to my feelings upon the occasion.

I have taken up my residence here for some months, that I may be ready

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Online LibraryHoratio NelsonThe Letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton, Vol. I. With A Supplement Of Interesting Letters By Distinguished Characters → online text (page 5 of 6)